Marc Lombardo '14, Joshua Kaplan '14 and Justin Belmont '14 discovered that the breadth of perks and discounts offered to students in stores was not offered online. They created Perkla to solve the problem. Lombardo explains.
What is unique about your company?
Perkla is your digital student ID, where students can get discounts to their favorite brands online, including Reebok, Converse, Theory, Rent the Runway, and many more!
How did you come up with idea?
When Justin, Josh, and I became business school students, we realized the plethora of deals that were offered to us by retailers in store; however, there was no way to access these discounts online. That’s crazy! Increasingly, students across the country, like us, prefer to shop online. With Perkla, we created the solution to this problem.
Which resources at Columbia / New York City have been most helpful to you?
We began our journey in the Lean Launchpad course with Professor Dorf, and enjoyed his tutelage so much that we did an independent study with him on our Marketing Strategy. We consulted with numerous alumni, who provided us with thoughtful insights and suggestions, which have helped Perkla develop immensely. Additionally, Perkla gained acceptance into the Columbia Entrepreneurs Lab (CEL), which provided us with a new co-working, incubator space for the summer, located on the Morningside campus. The CEL incubator space provided us with practical resources and mentorship during our critical first few months. Currently, we are in the Greenhouse course, and we look forward to building the business for future success!
How can the community help you now?
Students – sign up and start saving! And spread the word to your friends. Additionally, we are looking to add to our team, so if a student is looking to join an ecommerce start-up, look no further.
How can people contact you? Email is easy (mlombardo14gsb.columbia.edu or marcperk.la) or just chat with me on campus – I’m around!
Sarah Ribner '16
"The best feeling is when strangers tell me something I created with my best friend made such a difference for them.”